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In this CEE news recap you’ll find out about a new Unicorn that emerged from Poland after $3.5B M&A deal between Naspers and private equity groups. Since Russia had too many things going on in October, we published the news in a separate post.
Private equity groups Mid Europa Partners, Cinven and Permira acquired Polish e-commerce platform Allegro from the South African media group Naspers for $3.25B. That makes Allegro’s purchase one of the largest takeovers not only in Poland, but in Eastern Europe in general..
Allegro was founded in 1999 and now is the biggest e-commerce platform in Eastern Europe with over 20 million registered users, 14 million monthly transactions, 850,000 sold items per day and 1,275 employees across 5 offices. The management team will continue to develop the platform, improve user experience and delivery service.
Naspers bought Allegro group in 2008 for $1.5B, and after the expected sale, the company will repay debt, finance the growth of its e-commerce business and consider new acquisitions.
It’s the second Unicorn that emerged from Poland: in September we covered CD Projekt, game development and distribution company, the developer of The Witcher.
H88, one of the leaders in web hosting solutions in Poland with headquarters in Poznan, raises €5.5M from European tech growth capital investor 3TS Capital Partners. 3TS focuses on tech startups and provides expansion capital and buyout financing for small and medium-sized companies.
H88 provides a number of hosting services and value added services such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, SSL certification, website creator tools, backups and others. The company will use the money to launch new products, develop additional value-added services and make new acquisitions in Poland.
ANSWEAR is the biggest online multibrand store in Poland which gathers the best brands in fashion and street fashion. The store was founded in 2011 and three years later started to expand internationally. ANSWEAR operates in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and this October it launched in Hungary.
The e-commerce platform covers the market of about 130 million people who can shop for a deal on over 200 brands. The startup tries to overcome its European competitors providing a vast range of collections, customer service, and a fast delivery. The management of stores in each location is done centrally from Poland. Each foreign market has a country manager, who operates from within the country.
We covered ANSWEAR.com back in 2013.
Ukrainian startup FUTO lab, which has developed an easily inflated air mattress, just had its campaign over-funded on Kickstarter. In fact, they reached the goal of $15K within 22 hours after launch. At closing, FUTO has been backed by more than 1,600 people and raised about $140K.
FUTO mattress is very easy and quick to inflate, holds up to 650 pounds (295 kg), and can be accompanied by a FUTO pillow. The price for early birds was $49, with a 33% discount from the projected retail price. The company is going to start mass production in December.
The Estonian-founded platform Funderbeam, where growth companies can be funded and traded across borders, has raised $2.6M from Draper Associates, Thomson Reuters, and IQ Capital, with participation from 3TS Capital Partners.
The company was founded in 2013 by Kaidi Ruusalepp who used to be CEO of the Nasdaq Tallinn stock exchange. The platform is part a research tool which gives an opportunity for startups to raise funding, and part an investment platform enabling investors to fund potentially high growth companies. These tools of research and funding helped to build a blockchain technology-powered marketplace for startup investments.
Lithuanian financial company INVEGA (“Investments and Business guarantees”) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed on a partnership and will create four new local VC funds. The EBRD will invest €58.8M into the project.
INVEGA is expected to promote entrepreneurship in Lithuania, improve the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises and attract VC investments into innovative companies.
In April INVEGA and the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy and Finance signed another investment agreement for €179,6M and established the Business Financing Fund which is going to co-finance new local VCs.
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